This past weekend I got to try my hand at being a single parent while Anthony, myYale friend Jake(he went to Yale!*), and D&D buddy Ian drove up the treacherous mountain pass to Reno.
Reno, the land that time forgot. It’s the 1970s all over again, a mountainous desert filled with aging casinos, OTC gun shops, and thunderstorms with hail. Some might call the casino culture of the town past its prime, but we all know what that really means—VINTAGE! HOLLA! I bet they have some awesome thrift stores in Reno and I can’t wait for a chance to visit and scope out all the good stuff with my partner in thrifting crime, Stefanie.
It caused somewhat of a scandal when people realized Anthony had left for the weekend on a boys’ trip, and to Reno no less. I guess they assumed he’d be knee-deep in aged hookers and rigged blackjack. But of all the boys’ trips he’s taken recently, my hyper-anxiety was the least ramped-up over this one.
My husband, hiking up Half Dome at 3 a.m. while stalked by mountain lions, with only a pencil and three other dudes to protect him? That’s something to worry about.
My husband, trying to find a bachelor’s party hidden away in the woods somewhere at night? That’s something to worry about. I imagined Hill People coming across him while lost somewhere in ass-end of Shaver Lake. I’ve heard stories about Hill People (thanks, Greg!), and I’d rather he take his chances with the lions.
My husband, driving up to Reno to visit our BFFs Dave and Stef to eat pulled pork pizza, drink Mountain Dew, and play D&D till he passed out into a nerd-induced coma? Not something to worry about. Really.
I think the reason I was so at ease this time as opposed to the previous two trips was that 1. the mountain lion & hill people threat was nonexistent, and 2. he had cell phone reception. That really made the biggest difference for me. I could call or text him whenever I wanted. Hell, I would have even felt better if a mountain lion was attacking him as long as he had four bars so I could check on their progress. (“Go for the eye, honey! GO FOR THE EYE! Oh, and can you send me a picture of it? Isobel does so love her kitties.”)
I was a little nervous for them on the drive back because Reno seems to be prone to rainy thunderstorms and hail and they were driving through the mountainous pass. If it was winter my acute anxiety could have cooked up some Donner Party-like scenario but I’ll save that paranoia for later in the year. It was still sweating all weekend down in the Valley, and I figured they had enough pulled pork pizza and hot wings to keep them going without resorting to cannibalism.
At home, Isobel and I had a great time playing outside, taking baths (she has a newfound passion for bath time), and eating take-out Chinese food from our favorite place. On Friday I was on a mission to find something interesting for Isobel’s Halloween costume and so we stopped by the only thrift store open in the evening: Goodwill. Normally I avoid Goodwill: it tends to be pretty picked over. According to my Pyramid of Thrifted Goodness, it is exceptionally bottom-heavy, with none of the good two top-tier stuff that makes thrift stores fun.
I didn’t find anything compelling for a costume for her but I found some fantastic finds that I was frankly amazed to find at a Goodwill. It was totally worth it and I was high fiving Isobel up and down the aisles.
Isobel didn’t sleep well Friday night and for most of Saturday I was floundering on too little sleep. We woke up well rested on Sunday to a generous downpour of rain. Rain! We get so little it was a shock to see. I pulled Isobel over to the window to see the storm and instead of being curious started screeching, “MINE MINE MINE MIIIIIINE!” She was apparently very upset that the rain was touching her toys that we had left outside. We put on shoes and went to the patio so I could pull things in and she stood on the edge of the rain-soaked cement to give the insolent weather a piece of her goddamn mind.
She had some epic bed head and she was carrying a thrifted Care Bear that was nearly as large as she was so the effect was rather like a crazy old woman yelling at the sky. Whatever she was saying in her Martian-speak it was clearly laced with obscenities. She makes a Mama proud, she does!
I’m not going to lie, single parenting kicked my ass and made me ever more grateful to have a husband who is a devoted father. I’m so glad he wasn’t eaten by mountain lions.
*I’m very proud. He went to YALE everybody!